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Institute urges INEC to patronize indigenous printers

By Ademola Abimbolu


With elections coming up in barely a year, the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) has emphasized the need for INEC to engage in the use of highly professional and modern printers that will meet global standards for successful elections.


Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Mr.Wahab Muhammed-Lawal, CIPPON’s President said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) practice of printing election materials abroad is one of the factors responsible for election rigging and stuffing ballot boxes with already thumb-printed materials.


He said that the government should see the influx of unprofessional printers in the country as a matter of national concern as they end up being cheap tools for election riggers and the perpetrators of fraud.


In this regard, he said that the executive council members of CIPPON have written to the office of the INEC chairman, for a courtesy visit aimed at intimating him on the activities of CIPPON and the possible involvement and readiness of its officials in the production of election materials for 2011.


He said CIPPON members are the most qualified set of people to handle the printing of election materials because they are making sure     printers in the country at present are trained on the use of modern equipment, production capacity and adequate technical know-how that will improve the quality of indigenous printers in preparations for the elections.


Speaking on the institute’s activities and the involvement of printers in the country, Mr. Wahab Mohammed-Lawal said printers have not spoken against the institute rather, they praised the government for giving the institute regulatory powers and the only ones crying fowl are a group of unregistered printers called the concerned printers in Ibadan, where matters they raised had already been treated by the institute and the letter has been forwarded to the office of the INEC boss.


Speaking on the country’s preparations for the elections in January, Muhammed-Lawal said that the contracts for the election materials should have been awarded before September, and that between September and December when the jobs are to be submitted, the institute’s officials would be able to cope with the volume of job that may come up because, according to him, the equipment, printing houses and their spread all over the country will equip the institute to be up to the task.


He said the Involvement of CIPPON members in election activities would open a new vista of opportunities for creating employment opportunities as five star printing houses will be spread all over the geo-political zones of the country which will not only create employment but save the country huge foreign exchange and save Nigeria from losing a lot, in terms of capital flight as regards printing.


The CIPPON boss assured the INEC chairman and the country of accountability in the discharge of their duties adding that “The institute is ready to be held responsible if there are any lapses in the printing of the electoral materials given to us, if given the chance” he assured.


He further stated that the institute have put in place strategies to ensure the security of the electoral items and reiterates his promise of a 100 per cent assurance that leakages and failure to deliver as at when due will not occur if INEC chooses to go through the institute.


Also, he explained that, the involvement of CIPPON members would help track the required quantity of genuine election materials in circulation because CIPPON has the data of all registered professional printers and printing houses in Nigeria, which, he said, is available for members of the public to confirm at CIPPON’s secretariat and on its website.

 

 

 

 

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